Egypt and Cyprus travel advice: What is the latest guidance amid Israeli-Hamas war?

Cyprus is roughly 150 miles away from the coast of Israel. (Getty Images)
Cyprus is roughly 150 miles away from the coast of Israel. (Getty Images) (photography by Ulrich Hollmann via Getty Images)

The latest escalation in the conflict between Israel and Hamas is showing no signs of abating, with Israeli forces continuing to bombard the Gaza Strip while seemingly preparing for a ground invasion.

At least 1,400 Israelis have been killed since Hamas militants launched an unexpected incursion into Israeli territory on 7 October - gunning down civilians and taking a reported 199 hostages, including women and children.

The Palestinian health ministry said on Monday afternoon that at least 2,750 people have subsequently been killed as Israel launches airstrikes on the besieged territory.

As expected, the UK's Foreign Office has advised against all but essential travel to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and has discouraged any travel to the area surrounding Gaza, and the Syria and Lebanon border.

Other countries - including some popular destinations for British tourists - could also be affected by the conflict, depending on the political shockwaves it sends through the Middle East region.

Here, Yahoo News gives you the latest travel guidance for tourist destinations close to Israel and Gaza.


Natural landmark of Cyprus. Sea caves in Cape Greko national park near Ayia Napa and Protaras
Sea caves in Cape Greko national park, near Ayia Napa and Protaras. (Getty Images) (Алексей Облов via Getty Images)

Although Cyprus is not in the Middle East, it is roughly 150 miles away from the Israeli coast and has become an evacuation point for US citizens fleeing the country.

The island's close proximity to Israel may be a cause of concern to some, but the Foreign Office has not issued any advice against travelling there.

More generally, it says that "although there is no recent history of terrorism in Cyprus, attacks cannot be ruled out", including in "places visited by foreigners" - although this can apply to many countries considered safe on the whole.

It adds that the UK does not recognise the self-declared "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" and that the British government's ability to offer consular assistance there is limited.


Camels and a view of the pyramids at Giza, Egypt
Camels and a view of the pyramids at Giza, Egypt. (Getty Images) (Nick Brundle Photography via Getty Images)

Between 200,000 and 500,000 tourists travel from the UK to Egypt each year, making it a major holiday destination for Brits.

However, the country shares a border with Israel and Gaza, and its government has been in talks over the opening of the Rafah border crossing in order to let Palestinians escape to safety.

The Foreign Office advises against all but essential travel to certain parts of Egypt, although much of this guidance is related to military activity unrelated to Israel and Gaza.

Read more: Israel-Gaza latest: Key updates as civilians gather at border with Egypt in hopes of escaping conflict

These areas include North Sinai, the northern part of South Sinai and the eastern part of the Ismailiyah Governorate, the area west of the Nile Valley and Nile Delta regions, the Hala’ib Triangle and Bir Tawil Trapezoid, and anywhere within 20km of the Egyptian-Libyan border.

While this means much of the country is not safe to visit, there are no warnings in place for Egypt's popular tourist areas, including the Red Sea coast, Luxor, Cairo and Alexandria.

"Additional security measures are in place to protect the resorts of Sharm el Sheikh, Hurghada and Marsa Alam and other tourist areas on the Red Sea," the Foreign Office says.


The Monastery or Ad Deir at beautiful sunset in Petra ruin and ancient city, Jordan, Arab, Middle east of Asia
The Monastery or Ad Deir at in Jordan's ruins of Petra. (Getty Images) (Punnawit Suwuttananun via Getty Images)

While Jordan is widely considered to be one of the safest places to visit in the Middle East, it does share a border with both Israel and the Palestinian West Bank, as well as Syria.

Most of the Kingdom's tourist destinations are unaffected by the ongoing conflict, but the Foreign Office did update its travel guidance last week.

It now says: “The FCDO advises against all but essential travel to within 3km of Jordan’s border with Syria.”

Read more: Israel-Gaza - latest: 5 key developments on Monday 16 October

Due to the Israeli government declaring a nationwide state of emergency, the Foreign Office warns that border crossings into Jordan from Israel could be closed at short notice.

It advises travellers to check with local authorities, and its travel advice for Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories before trying to cross.


Turkish Flag on back of boat on the Bosphorus and Mosque on hillside just above
A view of the Bosphorus Strait in Istanbul. (Getty Images) (Darrell Gulin via Getty Images)

Turkey is in close proximity to the Middle East region, with the country's president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, offering to help mediate an end to the conflict and a release of hostages in Gaza.

UK travel advice on Turkey has not changed since Hamas's assault on Israel, but there are still some risks to be wary of.

The Foreign Office advises against all travel within 10km of the border with Syria, and all but essential travel to either Sirnak city or Hakkari province.

It adds that terrorists are "very likely to try to carry out attacks in Turkey". Most attacks have taken place in the southeast of the country, Ankara and Istanbul.